What is January Birthstone?
Garnet is the birthstone for January. It is commonly associated with a deep red color but actually comes in a wide variety of other colors except blue. Garnet is also associated with 2nd year wedding anniversaries.
“Garnet” is derived from the Latin word “granatus” which means seed or grain. It is said that this gemstone closely resembles the seeds of the pomegranate fruit. This particular gemstone was also very popular during the Victorian era, with castles and churches in Europe decorated with it. Many archeologists also found jewelries with garnet on graves during the Bronze Age. Today, much of this gemstone can be found in many countries like India, Scotland, Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, Switzerland, Australia, Siberia, Argentina, Sri Lanka, the US, and parts of Africa.
Not all mined garnets can be turned into gemstones though. These garnets are considered “raw” and are used for its abrasive properties, particularly in polishing and grinding of other materials. Gemstone quality garnets meanwhile come in different colors, though the most common is deep red. Garnet also has yellows and oranges, pinks, violets, and green stones. The differences in colors are mainly due to the differences in the calcium, iron, and manganese content.
Garnet as a gemstone is also rich in history. It is considered to symbolize love and many also associate it for safety in travel. In India, garnets were used as pellets for shooting with bows. People form Egypt thought of this stone as a cure for venom and food poisoning. The Greeks use this stone as a protection against troubled sleep. Legends also have it the garnet stones provided light on Noah’s ark.
Garnet is revered by many because of its brilliance and rich history. It is also said that this particular gemstone does not require any treatment and endures with brilliance in its natural state.